15 Dec Episode #303: Damien Dau, ActivePlace, CEO
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on HALO Talks NYC. I have the pleasure of having Damian from active entities join us. He is in the process of launching a new social marketplace and network for our halo community. So Damon hailing from outside of San Diego. Welcome to your first halo talks.
Damien Dau: Thanks made great to be a part of it. Looking forward to the session with you.
Pete Moore: So why don’t you start off and just give, give our audience a little background on, you know, what you did before jumping into the halo sector and kind of where you saw some of the frustrations and opportunities that that you’re about to solve.
Damien Dau: Absolutely. Yeah, so I mean, active place for me is been born out of my own personal problems and what I’ve experienced both as an athlete and in the professional area as well. I mean, as a, as a kid I’ve been passionate about sports. I was big into endurance sports, so I’ve been a, you know, runner rider been a cyclist and a triathlete. And for me, you know, endurance sports, I love it. Cause it pushes you be a under limits, tested the person you, you are. And within. And for me, that, that really came off my last triathlon, which was the world Ironman triathlon out of Kona in Hawaii. I was coming back from the run in the energy lab and my body was hurting inside and out, you know, just 18 months ago before the race I’d had a hip replacement thought, I could go back into the sport and, and compete as I thought.
Damien Dau: But you know, I was very wrong. So it started, my body started to fail me and I knew I had to change things sort of a moment in time when you’re there running and realize that, you know, my injury is going to force me out of a sport that I love so much. And I knew I had to become active in a different way. And I knew I had to find a solution after this event on how to be active. So that’s when I really started looking around Pete on what was out there online. And I found that it was a little bit confusing and respects too. There was a lot of information. I had to go across a lot of different locations to find it. I didn’t know what to trust. And then my offline community was very limited in that respect as well. And for me that’s really where it came from as a problem in understanding that a market is such big market as what we have in health and fitness is quite FRA augmented online. And that for me, as I thought, well, I’ve competed at the world stage here and I’m having these problems. So surely there’s someone else having this problem as well. And that’s really where I got to on, on sort of that part from initial stage.
Pete Moore: Got it. So, you know, when you, when you look at taking on such a broad initiative you know, how do you kind sequence that out and what, you know, what are the big pieces that you want to try and solve first, whether it’s from an informational standpoint or whether it’s from, you know, just connecting people with products and services and kind of keeping ’em away from Google, which then takes you to queue you a, which you have to sign up for, and then you kind of get lost and you forgot, you’re looking for, by the time you get to whatever, you know, homepage you get to is kind of what I’ve found.
Damien Dau: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, you know, we’ll be tackling, you know, the categories for us, the core categories, which are endurance sports, fitness outdoor and adventure and wellness as well. The four categories that we really see, there’s an opportunity. And we also see people’s lives now and their, their active lives are heavily integrated across multiple categories. You know, you don’t just do one thing anymore. You know, you’re not just a runner anymore. You might be a runner that does Pilates and yoga and goes to the gym as well, for example, and there’s conscious about what they’re eating maybe goes to a retreat. So we’re finding that there’s this integration of the cat degrees as well. But initially where we’re, we are focused is within the endurance market. So running, cycling, triathlon swimming, you know, we know that’s a, he, it’s a very passionate market. They love, they love what they’re doing. They love talking about it. And we also know that market is very receptive to early tech and early innovation as well. They’re very goal driven people. They, you know, they’ve focused on outcomes and we felt that was a, an exciting market to launch on as, as our first segment or, or, or area.
Pete Moore: Got it. So when you take a look at someone that’s doing, you know, endurance, that kind of becomes there, you know, weekly warrior outlet and their either training or, or competition. So what what’s active entities going to do, whether it’s, you know, curating their, you know, like almost like a online concierge service, you know, best in class products that they should be using to, to enhance their performance, you know, give us a little bit of taste for what, you know, I go on there and what happens.
Damien Dau: Absolutely. Yeah. So for any user that comes on there, their journey will typically start, start within the social network or the feed, for example. So our algorithms will be set. So you see things that you are passionate about. So if are a runner you’re going to see things that are going to help you in, in your goals and in your inspirations to be a runner. So it’s things like content and information. It could be articles, it could be information that’s getting posted by experts or businesses in, in, in the, in the space. You’re also going to see products and things to do. So you might see events, you might see other related, active things to do in there. You’re going to find a community of like-minded people that are also interested in running across there as well. And you’re going to find experts that can help you achieve your goal as well within that category. And that’s things like it could be physio, nutrition, coaches, and the like, so that’s a flavor you’re going to get in feed. And that feed naturally within our ecosystem drives straight into a marketplace. So if you are interested in products, you are interested in finding experts. You can very seamlessly go there within the one E eco ecosystem and find what you’re after, but you will certainly be driven around what you are passionate about and, and what, what inspires you to be a runner or a cyclist or whatever it is.
Pete Moore: Yeah. So if, if you talk to investors, they’d probably say, well, how does this differentiate from somebody setting up a really, you know, deep you know, Facebook group. So, so what’s the response to that type of question.
Damien Dau: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you’re looking at these general platforms out there at the moment, Facebook, Instagram, and the likes. And they’re great, but you know, when you consider, you know, someone’s, someone’s core elements in their life, they have family and friends, which Facebook do extremely well. They have LinkedIn for their business and their profession. They don’t have a place to own for their health and fitness. They don’t have a home for their health and fitness journalist platforms are fantastic of being generalist platforms. They’re not specialized, and they’re not a, a home or a destination that is functional to someone’s purpose that they’re inspired about, or they love. And for us, that’s what active place brings. It brings that home. And it brings that that place that people can go to about, you know, to come to what they’re so passionate about and leaves all those generalist things to the, if they want to go see what the neighbor ate last night for dinner or their best friends, new dog, absolutely go there. If they want to go and focus on their health and fitness, then they come to active place.
Pete Moore: Got it. So do you intend to kind of quality control that, or does the, you know, each kind of micro group, you know, looking forward kind of quality control itself? Cause obviously when it comes to spit fitness, performance endurance, you know, there’s probably a lot of personal trainers out there that have their own, you know, prescription and it’s not one size fits all. So how are you, how are you thinking about, you know, dealing with some of those types of, you know, questions on how, how you manage the marketplace?
Damien Dau: Yeah. And the content, absolutely. It, the user generated content that will come out of it, you know, is, is, is I think what we’re sort of mentioning there. And it’s, it’s an interesting one, the platforms being bit else around, you know, making sure people come, they come and they feel good about themselves. They feel inspired or they, they post something or they see something that helps them in their active life. And, and we’re seeing that already within the community, the community is naturally just posting things that are related to their health and fitness. You know, and that can come, but, you know, we’re finding, it’s a nice blend at the moment. We’re not seeing people come on here at all and posting random components. It’s kind of like going to LinkedIn and posting about a holiday or something you might have randomly done in your life. It just doesn’t fit within the community. And we’re seeing something very similar on this platform at the moment with, within the community.